tv State of the Union CNN January 13, 2013 6:00am-7:00am PST
donald? >> get a better hairpiece is nice. have thick skin and he is so thin skinned for a man with a face like leather, and let it go. if someone tells a joke, laugh at it and smile at least, but if not, ignore it, donald and go into one of the houses or the big hotels and enjoy your life. you are a billionaire. >> i bet you anything that he will send you a copy of the birth certificate any day now to prove it. >> i will send him mine to prove that i am a human being born in the united states of america. >> and it sounds like if you look at the example quickly, but it is like coming to the point where the comedians have to be concerned about what they say. >> well, there is a concern about the freedom of expression, and i'll be honest with you, the more better known you are like bill maher, there are more limitation, because if you say something wrong or inappropriate, you are in the media the next day to defend yourself, and lesser known, it is not so serious, but this is a war on comedy. donald trump is leading it. >> get your $5 million check
ready, dino abdallah. >> okay. i'll be ready. >> "state of the union" starts right now with candy crowley. en yjoy your sunday. the white house forces the issue and signaling it will go wherever it can on gun control. today, biden panel readies the report for a white house banking on public revulsion. >> there is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image of little 6-year-old kids riddled and not shot by a stray bullet, but riddled with bullet holes. >> conversations with nra president david keene and
connecticut governor chris murphy and also presidential candidate jon huntsman and senator joe manchin, and also we will talk to congressman elijah cummings, and marsha blackburn as well as jeff zeleny from "the new york times" and michael scherer from "the new york time times". a month after the newtown mas ka ser, the president is expected to present an array of options. he has publicly mentioned universal background checks on gun buyers and bans on high capacity magazines. biden did not mention a controversial ban, because the panel focused on consensus proposals. you can consider the nhr -- nra out of those proposals.
after the discussions, they said they were disappointed how little it had to keep the children safe and how much of an agenda tot ak the second amendment. joining me is the nra's president david keene, and thank you for coming. set the bottom line here. in that meeting, was anything said by the vice president that you could agree with in terms of a proposal and was anything said by you that he could agree with? >> well, he'd have to speak to that. we sent jim baker the former president of the institute for action to the meeting and he knows most of the people and has been involved for a long timek and we went to the meeting under the assumption that the vice president and the president have said many times without any conclusions having been reached but as you pointed out, the con cl concollusions had been reached
and they wanted to say that they were going to go forward after talking to us. one of the things that we have pushed for, for a number of years is those ajude kated to be mentally incompetent and potenti potentially dangerous to be put on the list of those prevented from buying firearms and that has not been done. that should be dop done, because most of the people who engage in these things are people who have had real trouble. for example the virginia tech shooter would not have been able to purchase a firearm had that been done in virginia. we hope that the administration will get behind that kind of proposal. >> it appears they are positivelypositive ly are doing that, but we know instance that the nra has fought in one of the states to try to put folks who are mentally ill may not have guns, and you wanted to make sure they had a right to go back and -- >> correct. >> and you know say, i'm okay now. so in every and even though you
talk about it, it seems that a lot of people, you put the brakes on things like that. >> well, what we put the brakes on is anything that simply take s away a person's second amendment right for in good reason. you can restrict the free speech, and famously you cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater, and what we have suggest and this has particularly come up, because this administration and a previous one have attempted to bar returning veterans who sought psychological help from buying firearms and we said fine if there is an adjudication this should not happen, be but if th get help, and the purpose of the mental health system is not to ratify them to a status, but to cure them, and if they are cured, there should be a way out of that, and we belief that is very, very fair. >> insofar as the things we have seen out there, universal background checks in assault weapons ban, and something that
contains these clips, makes them so that you can't have the large capacity, that is just a nonstarter for you. >> well, we don't think any of those things work. >> so the art of compromise in washington is for somebody to give something up, and for the other people to give something up. what are you willing to put on the table? >> well, you should absolutely be able to compromise on things that accomplish the purpose. t our objection to those things is that they interfere with people's rights without doing anything to solve the problem. if you are going to solve the problem, there are two things that you have to do. you have to get to the root of the problem, and in virtually all of these cases, it is a mental health problem and we have a mental health system that has collapsed and you to provide security, because you can't always find somebody who is about to do something. we are not experts on mental health and we are not experts on security though we have set up independently somebody who is to look into that, but we do a little bit about guns and firearms and what works and what
doesn't work. we are not willing to compromise on people's rights when there is no evidence that doing so is going to accomplish the purpose. >> no assault weapons ban and no ban on the multiclips, and i don't think that, you know, i don't think that the white house is going to budge on the push for it and you won't budge on the push back and let's talk about the politics of this, do you think that you have enough support on capitol hill to keep an assault weapons ban from passing? >> right now we do. >> as opposed to -- >> and you have been watching capitol hill for a long time, candy. and when a president takes all of the power of the office if he is willing to expend the political capital, you don't want to make predictions, and yo you don't want to bet your house on the outcome, but i would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this congress. >> how about a clip? some kind of a restriction? >> i don't think that ultimately they will get that either, because you can't make a case, a, that you can really regulate it, because these things cost
virtually nothing. you nknow, you and david gregor could find one, but the fact is that we live in a society where first of all, we have constitutional rights, and secondly, there are millions upon millions of americans who value the rights that they have under the second amendment and who are involved in the shooting sports or use firearms for self-defense and we think that they will be heard. >> and when you look at the power, one of the things that you said when you came in is that our number one political priority is to defeat the president for a second term, and that didn't happen. you also lost some high profile senate races that you invested in. what does that say about the power -- because there are a lot of people out there who say, look, this has changed, that newtown has changed public sentiment, and it has changed the mood on capitol hill, and yet you think that the nra has the power to block this? >> the nra doesn't have the power, be but those americans who believe in the second amendment do. the races that were decided this
year, weren't decided on the second amendment issues as you well know and not discussed. the president discussed he would never take your rifle or sidearm and not interfere with your second amendment right, and in those races where there is a clear choice and let me give you an example. we were very involved this the wisconsin gubernatorial recall, because you had a clear opponent of the second amendment and proponent of the second amendment and in that race, gun owners made a six-point difference and this that case, we did a poll after the election, and they said that 45% were willing to vote for it. so guns are more acceptable now than they were ten years ago. >> one of the big questions here is who does the nra represent and you do take millions of dollars from people who make gun, and people who make bullet
s and all perfectly legal and fine folks. >> well, actually, we get less money from the industry than we would like to get. >> but you get millions of dollars from them. >> so less than we used to. >> so that the criticism out there that the nra and some other gun supporter groups gin up this, that they are going to come take your guns away, because what happens is that the gun sales rise and people go t out, and you know, sort of frighten people into thinking that the guns are going away when in fact members who are sort of friendly to you all who have a-ratings say we have to look at the assault weapons ban and the accusation is that you are ginning up this conversation, because it helps gun sales. >> the two people selling so-called assault rifles are senator finestein and president obama and not us. they are the ones who are scaring american gun owners and it is not the nra, but we do say that one of the core mission, and the nra has been around since 1871, and from the 1970s
on, we have emerged as the defender of second amendment rights, and that is a core part of the mission. >> sure. but in that, do you support gun ners or gun mfers? >> gun owners and our members and the people in the country who believe in the second amendment. with we have had our differences in the past, if you know the history of the nra with the gun manufacturers, because it is not our constituency. our constituency is twofold, the american people who want to own guns and use them legally, and it is the second amendment, itself. >> david keene, president of the nra, thank you for joining us this morning. >> any time. >> while washington debates gun control, connecticut's governor pays tribute to the fallen. >> in the midst of one of the worst days of our history, we also saw the best of our state. teachers and therapist who sacrificed their lives protecting students, a principal and school psychologist that ran into harm's way.
>> a unique perspective on guns, background checks and mental health with senator chris murphy next. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. progress-oh! -oh! -oh! oh! oh! ♪ what do you know? oh! ♪ bacon? -oh! -oh! oh! [ female announcer ] with 40 delicious progresso soups at 100 calories or less, there are plenty of reasons people are saying "progress-oh!" share your story for a chance to win a progress-oh! makeover in hollywood.
since the deadly rampage at sandy hook elementary school, newtown, connecticut, has done what no other shooting has, prompted what may be decisive changes to gun laws. joining me now is connecticut senator chris murphy. you are in newtown today and i appreciate your taking the time. let me get a quick update from you about what we know. it has been a month, and are we any closer to understanding what motivated this shooter? >> this is an ongoing inv investigation and i think that it has been very difficult for the police to find out the motive here. this guy did a pretty good job of destroying a lot of the evidence, and his computer which he may have done a lot of gaming and correspondence on was ruined be by the time they got to the house, and although we expect there is going to be a report and the families desperately want as much information as they can get, we haven't gotten much. this community is still really grieving.
this is certainly about the families of the little boys and girls who are lost, but it is also about teachers and administrators and first responders who may with be in the fury of the days and the weeks after the shooting didn't exactly understand how deeply it had affected them. this is going to take a long time even after the report comes out for this community to e recover. >> right. and the other thing that is still routstaoutstanding there, there any evidence that the shooter sought mental assistance or his mother sought it for him it for him, or was there any evidence of that? >> well, the mother understood that he was a deeply troubled individual and at or around the time of the shooting, she was trying to find some serious treatment option for him, but the fact is that she would have run into the roadblocks that thousands of mothers and fathers run into all across this country. there are a lot of kids who need help and the waiting lines for mental health services are very,
very long. clearly she knew there was something wrong here and trying to figure it out, but there might not have been an option for her give ten lack of funding for a lot of the services. >> so that turns me to what is happening in washington now, because newtown, you are right, it is going to take so much time to heal, and in washington now taking up the kind of other end of this, and what can be done to prevent this, a legislative look. we are hearing a lot about gun control and i know you heard the interview that we did with david keene, the head of the nra and is there anything that you heard there where you said, okay, we can find some common ground and by the way, you get an f are the the nra, so you are not in sync with them when it comes to the issues, but is there some commonality that we heard that is helpful? >> well, if they want to work on funding for mental health services, then let's go to work on it. what they have proposed a national rej cigistry of everyb
in the country that is mentally ill and you want to talk about an abridgment to the bill of rights. that would be everyone with a mental illness on a list. this is not your father's nra, but it represents gun manufacturers and less than half of the funding comes from their member, and they make tens of millions of dollars off of the purchases of guns. but what your guest didn't tell you is every time, and not every time, but when assault weapons and high capacity magazines are bought in the country, the nra will get a cut of the sales from the round up purchase program, where the purchase is rounded up and the nra gets the difference, and they make the salaries off of the gun purchases, and that is who they are representing in this debate. >> and mr. keene said he believed right now there isn't enough strength in the congress to keeps a sault weapons ban
from going into place. do you agree with that this is. >> no, i think that he is wrong. this issue is going to continue to move. he is right that when a president puts the full weight of their office behind legislative change, that certainly means something. and i do think that you see even in the democratic caucus people like joe manchin and mark warner who previously never would have considered a ban on assault weapons or high capacity clips now coming to the table. even last week, one of the more conservative members of the congress, phil gingrey said he would be willing to look at the high capacity clip bans and assault weapons, and that is a fundamental change, and the nra does not get this. they have to come to the table on the gun control just as they are saying they are coming to the table on mental health, because the previous allies and backers in the house and the
senate are not with them anymore and just like the american people are not. >> and so let me ask you, because i know that senator finestein and senator blumenthal are about to introduce a ban on assault weapons, and what do you know about that piece of legislation? >> well, i'm going to be a supporter of that legislation. >> what's in it? >> this is a -- this is i think going to be a ban on the assault weapons moving forward and tighter ban than the previous ban and it will address high capacity ma magazine clips. the fact is that as soon as we passed the ban in the 1990s, the gun manufacturers found a way around it and other states like new jersey and california have passed stricter bans and that is what the congress needs to do. i get it that the nra is going to use all of the resources to try to stop this thing, but ultimately, the people of this country have been transformed, and these assault weapons and
they know it, these are not used by sportsmen and you don't need an assault weapon to kill a deer or target practice and sportsmen are not going to have their rights abridged or their ability to enjoy their sport change by having these dangerous military-style assault weapons taken off of the streets. >> so, let me ask you a little bit back on the mental health issue. does it concern you that when we are hearing things from the biden panel, we are not hearing a lot about improving mental health services so that women like the mother of the shooter could maybe find some help, and with we are not hearing a lot about these videos that seem to have some effect at least on those whose minds are already a little warped, so are you concerned that this is going to become only a gun control issue? >> i definitely want to hear us talk about mental health, because, you know, we are coming
into the lean budget time, and there is always a tendency and a risk to go after those line items that support mental healthhealth services first in the debates, and so i want that on the table, but let's be honest, we are not always going to be able to find these individuals who on a dime turn into mad men, and what could have helped here in newtown is a ban on assault weapons. i have to tell you that i fundamentally believe that if we had a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high capacity clips, this guy might not have taken up arms to begin with, because what happens is that the guys get courageous to believe they can walk into a school or a movie theater with the weapons they see in the video games ash and there would be boys and girls alive in newtown if you had banned assault weapons and the high capacity clips, and that is something that we can do now. >> thank you, senator chris
murphy, for joining us from newtown today. >> thanks, candy. >> when we return, bridging the political divide in washington and crossing the aisle to do it. with any qualifying $75 ink purchase. find thousands of big deals now... at officemax. i have a great fit with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free -- it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made the kiwi an enjoyable experience. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
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raising the debt ceiling, preventing sequestration, and funding the federal government for 2013 and passing gun regulations or not, and tackling immigration, and to-do list for congress looks more like the new year's resolutions that you won't get around to. >> republicans in congress brought this house to a new low last night. >> the senate proceeded like a bull in a china closet. >> they are like salespeople who tell the customers to have the $30,000 car, but only pay $18,000 for it. >> now, a number of politicians, current and former, have joined forces to create a partisan-free environment, and called "no labels" they are pledged to a simple obligation, stop fight ing and start fixing. will the compromise and chances for success be for no label? we are joined by former presidential candidate jon
huntsman and congressman joe manchin next. bacon? -oh! -oh! oh! [ female announcer ] with 40 delicious progresso soups at 100 calories or less, there are plenty of reasons people are saying "progress-oh!" share your story for a chance to win a progress-oh! makeover in hollywood. go to facebook.com/progresso to enter.
with me now, senator joe manchin, democrat from west virginia and former presidential candidate and former utah governor jon huntsman, thank you for being here and joining forces here. i have to say when i was reading about this, and said, okay, goals to argue less and act more, and i'm thinking, yeah, but how do you go about that, particularly from the outside? why is an outside group needed? >> well, let me say from no labels' standpoint when i was a
senator two years ago, i was enamored from this, because i came from a governorship, and jon and i were governors together in 2004 we were elected respectively from utah and west virginia and friends and democrat and republican to solve problems and i thought that the same would carry offinto washington, but you have to understand, candy, the dynamics we are dealing with. as a senator and since i have been there in two years, there has not been a bipartisan caucus to sit down the talk with the republican colleagues on the other side. unless we do it behind what you see on the day-to-day basis. even think about taking it further, we don't even know our colleagues in congress, the 435. so, this gives a us chance, and no labels gives us a venue to sit down to have meaningful conversation. >> but, you know, to have to do this seems like, you could tell 100 grown men and women, you guys need to talk to each other. >> right.
but did you hear what joe just said, and can you believe that there is not a venue that allows people to come together to solve problems? well, the premise is simple, because joe and i come from a background of solving problems and when you see the dysfunction of the congress is becoming the nation's dysfunction and we are becoming disfigured in a sense, the economy s because congress is so far behind in the game. so the premise is a simple one, and that is that we want to create a new attitude around problem solving. how do you do that? you have to get a critical mass together of problem solvers which is what we are doing. we have 25 signed on and the goal by the end of the year is to have 75. so if you can imagine 75 republicans and democrats house and senate members agree to meet and check the ego at the door and sit around the table to put the country first as opposed to party and the next election and thinking about the future when they deliberate about the very important issues, that is the objective, and so far as i can tell, candy, and i'm a recent
convert to this, and they came to me most recently, there is nobody else in the world of movements now that is focused on bringing people together around the premise of problem solving. >> well, certainly, there have been third way, and a lot of the groups out there that have sort of tried this, but it is in reality, you get, you know, bipartisanship on capitol hill tends to be, if you agree with me, then you are being bipartisan. so let me try to get you to apply bipartisan shich to -- bi-pa bi-partisanship to gun control. and you hear people saying, it is not about guns, but it is about society and mental health and you have two sides that sound a lot like to me ten years ago when they were arguing. >>well, candy, you have members
who are from two states that are from nra states. i am a lifelong member of nra. i was taught from a young age to treat firearms safely and pass it down to the children and the grandchildren and with all of that being said, never in my life could i have imagined that i would see a time where mass violence has escalated to the point where 20 children, and say 20 babies in their kindergarten were slaughtered. that has changed -- >> that is how everyone felt. >> for any -- >> and everybody went holy cow. >> and this has changed, and we owe it to sit down and talk, but it has to be comprehensive and it can't be about guns and guns only. and it can't be about the mental illness or the lack of mental illness care that we have, and it can't be about the video
violence and the media. i want every nra member and law-abiding gun owner to know that the second amendment rights will not be infringed upon and neither the first amendment rights, but as adults, we have to sit down to come up with a kcome prehennive package that works. >> we have dialogue about the deficit and we have simpson bowles which everybody ignores, and i know that you have written in the op-ed what is reasonable, and what is reasonable in terms of gun control when it comes to states who understand the gun culture and how deeply it is embedded into the culture of some of the states? >> well, it has to be a little bit of the spectrum like your show, but it has to be from both
ends of the spectrum and in tend the duly elected officials get together with an open mind and make decisions based on the people they represent. that is where no labels is so important because we have the politics of the right and the left and the center, and with we have forgotten the politics of all problem solving and representing the people in all that we do. what we are doing today is not normal and for the younger generation growing up seeing the way that politics is playing out is not the norm. that is why joe and i coming from the backgrounds we do, you get the right and the left in a roop wheth room and whether it is on guns or anything else,ing what is the pathway forward and what is good for the american people. >> and you called for reasonable, but what is reasonable? is an assaults weapons ban like the one we are getting from dianne finestein and the one from governor blumenthal going to be reasonable? >> how do you get the guns out
of the mentally deranged people who need help? that is whe that is where it seems to be. if you look back at the virginia tech shooter, he had been det n detained twice, and still with the laws we have. >> and went to arizona and apparently to colorado. >> that is a huge part, and the other part of it is with what type of weapons and registration and how they are getting into the hands and all of that is reasonable to talk about, and there is a premise now in washington that guilt by conversation. it used to be guilt by association, but now it is guilt by conversation, and we can't even sit down to have conversations about can you talk about any of the issues whether it is the clipser or whether it is the registration and whether it is bans on certain military -- you can't even talk about it. if you don't have the people who are understanding that, the people that basically have expertise in that at the table, and if you keep pushing the nra away, they have to sit down and they have to have a responsible place at the table, and i have kept, and i'm pushing that. i want them to be there, but i
want the people who understand mental illness and the people who understand the video games. >> you see the hole lis tie hol approach. >> well, it is comprehensive. >> this is why what joe is saying is so important and the no label, because whether it is taxes or guns or other issues, you know the two or three components in tend, and she ends a no-brainer for most, p but that is why bringing together the coalition in congress and the senate is so important, and no labels is a start. >> senator, the last word, because you are a position that you do vote in the senate, and your words post newtown were taken originally as senator
manchin is now opposed assault weapon based on the conversation. >> based on the conversation. >> so am i correct in interpreting that sure, you would talk about an assault weapons ban, but it has to be in a more holistic package? >> well, no labels and problem solvers and to be be a member of that is something that does not cost a thing. no labels brings people together. ki talk about i can talk about it, because i don't own assault weapons, but i have guns, but not multiclips, and i need to talk to people who believe they need those and i want to talk to people who go to gun shows who feel they do not have to be register and i want to know why they want that protected and yet, people are the the mental illness, the people who are causing this mass violence, how come my 8-year-old
is able to lock in and see what glorifying violence and so it is comprehensive approach to build a consensus. >> and if i can get a yes or no, assault weapons only stand alone ban -- >> stand alone on guns just alone, no, it will not in the political reality we have today, it will not go anywhere and it has to be comprehensive and that is what i have tried to tell the vice president and everybody, it has to be a comprehensive approa approach. >> senator joe manchin and former governor jon huntsman, and gentlemen, good luck, and we will see how many you are collecting as you go along. >> thank you, candy. and up next, guns and our presidential nominations. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one...
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joining me around the table, "time" magazine's michael scherer, and elijah cummings, democrat from maryland and congresswoman marsha blackburn and also from "the new york times" jeff zeleny. looking at the issue of guns from the outside-in, do you sense that the team steam for ban on assault weapons is slowly coming out of the balloon? it feels a little bit like both sides have revert ed to form. what does it feel like?
>> well, you know, i had suffered a death of my nephew at handgun violence and with the possibility of assault weapons, we have a possibility, but the thing that we do agree on is universal background checks and the high capacity clips and 90% of people say that we should your on cnn poll, and 61% said that we ought to look at the high magazine capacity. i think that those are the things that we will be able to get done, but think they we ought to try to approach it from the comprehensive standpoint and get as much done as we can. >> and senator manchin mention ed that as well, because he said the only way to deal with guns is to deal with the rest of it. do you sense among your colleagues and in fact, quite a few democrats with high ratings from the national rifle
association who come from gun country where gun is not a dirty word and all that, and do you sense it is fading away, or is there still a real drive for some kind of limitations on guns or the ammunition? >> you know, what i am hearing is that people want to make certain that we protect the second amendment and their second amendment rights and protect their freedom and not impede that. also, i'm hearing from a lot of teachers and mental health professionals and physicians that we have to drill down on the mental health issue, and, two, to look at the psychiatric and psychotropic drugs, because that is many times linked to the individuals who carry out these crimes. they are also wanting to make certain that we begin to get in behind these video games. i have -- i watched a couple of these last night in preparation for this segment, and candy, as a mother and a grandmother, i
was astounded with some of the things i was seeing on "call to duty i "and of course sh duty" and we know that the norway shooter would go in there and use it as target practice. this is something that you say, number one, keep children safe, and number two, let's protect our freedoms and let's put these iss issues on the table and have a good solid conversation about it. >> where is this going? >> i think that the white house is still interested in a perfect world for an assault weapons ban, but there is a lot of evidence out there that, a, it did not necessarily work last time, but they are more interested in getting something accomplished, so we will see that as part of the vice president's proposal, but it is not going to be to be all and end all, and if that does not happen, it is not going to bring down the whole effort. i think that the president is committed to this, and i think that, you know, it is going to -- >> and by this -- >> some type of background
checks or ammunition clips, but there is going to be another shooting sadly, so this is going to stay in the cop shouseness, and it is not going to recede sort of into the memory here. >> but the problem is that it could be a hammer, a hatchet, a car, a gun -- >> but hammers and hatchets and cars are not as fast as the clip s. >> but you still have to look at the mental health and make certain that you are protecting an individual's rights. >> and to the point quickly, 30,000 people die as a result of handguns in this country, and 10,000 homicides, but the vast majority of them, candy, are suicides. >> right. and a lot of the mass shootings are suicides as well, if that makes sense, and people say, no, they go with the intent of dying so it is part of the suicide. how do you see it panning out? >> well, we will have proposals next week, and it will include everything that is being talked about by the vice president, and you have a house right now who
can't pass the speaker's bills, and so the senate will probably act later in the year, and then it is a long term process of g figuring out if you can continue the outside pressure and the outrage from the country, and there is common ground on background checks and a dispute whether it is universal or just gun shows. there not going to be common ground over the magazines initially, but room to move there, because a lot of the shootings, there is evidence that reloading the clip, and in the case of gabby giffords when he was trying to reload the clip is when he was taken down, and it does matter. and then on the background ch k checks the nra is on board with and they will have to wiggle with the details, and the assault weapon ban is a reach at this point. >> one of the things that the senator said that was interesting, unless you put it together in a single bill, it will not pass. you cannot say n is the assault weapons bill, but it has to be a part of the package that the
president has to show as he did with the biden plan, that you have to look at it all. >> we may start with a package, but the way that the congress is divided, it is going to be hard to get a total package through. this may have to be, candy, a project and not a product. in other words, we may have to do it piece by piece. i would rather see a comprehensive bill, but one thing is for sure, if we don't act now with 20 young kids murdered, i don't know when we will act. >> exactly. will you stick with me, because when we come back the president makes some cabinet picks for the second term. we will be right back with the panel. we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work.
we are back with marsha blackburn and jeff zeleny of "new york times." there is a lot made about the president's latest picks in the cabinet. jack lou, senator hagel, senator kerry in key positions here. treasury, defense, state department. something that your colleague, congressman rangel said about the lack of diversity in the cabinet thus far. i'm sorry. yeah, he said, it's embarrassing
as hell, his words. we've been through all of this with 2012 gop presidential nominee, mitt romney. and we were very hard with mitt romney with the women binder and a variety of things. and i kind of think there's no excuse with the second term. there was a white house photo that went out and kind of astonishing in its white male variety. first of all, does it matter? >> it does matter. i think women are very, very, it's very important that we have women in the cabinet. it's important that we have women in the congress. i would hate to imagine the congress without women, to be frank with you. i think it's a little bit early, candy. i really do. he has the epa position to fill governor solis. he has to fill. if we wait maybe a week or two, i can almost promise you we won't even be having this discussion. >> no offense, but as you know, state defense treasury. those are the crown jewels of the cabinet, are they not? >> the president passed over a
very well qualified woman, michelle, who was kind of the next in the cue, if you will, for defense and went with chuck hagel. i know, i've got friends that are for him and against him. but, candy, the thing is, there was a woman who would have been the best person for the job. and why did he step over her? it would have been a historic choice. i think there are a lot of people who are disappointed in that. >> we have a president that's not interested in diversity. you know, i'm not sure we can make that case, can we? >> 43% of the folks we have now of women. he does believe in diversity. >> two supreme court justices. >> i mean, in his cabinet he had five women, four african-americans, three hispanics and two asian americans. that's diversity. i really believe that this president believes in diversity. that's why i say, i think it's a little bit early. >> i think this whole conversation is a symbolic way of talking about a deeper issue. remains more difficult for women
to rise to the top and it's worse in politics, i think, than in academia or corporate america where women have made more gains. ten years i've been here, i have yet to cover a campaign or a white house or even congressional offices where there are not complaints from the women about the sort of boys club atmosphere, with the exception of the offices run by women. that is the deeper issue we're trying to get at. cabinet picks are important, but a broader problem in washington. >> i agree with that. with what michael is saying somewhat. that there is having enough women in the process is a bipartisan problem. >> yes. >> many times women are the most qualified, but they're not a part of the good old boys club. it is more difficult to make that, to have those open doors. and that's one of the reasons that the dod pick, which would have been historic, is very disappointing and i do think people are going to be watching very closely to see if the steps
this president takes are going to be the same type steps that he took in that first term. i think there's an accountability there. >> i think this problem in the short term is going to get worse for the white house because the chief of staff pick could come this week. likely to be dennis mcdonough but it is sort of interesting. i'm not sure i heard anyone on the hill praising the choice, potential choice of susan rice for secretary of state as a woman. i mean, they were criticizing her for her positions and other things. i think at the end of the day, it's optically not good. you know, obviously, for this president. he has sort of a strong record, but probably more important are those people around him. that white house photograph was very real and that's how it is on a day-to-day basis. with a couple of exceptions. but that's how senator obama and president obama has sort of always been. always surrounded by usually men. >> congressman, last word. this is also true of people of color. the president, obviously, we have a holder at the justice
department. we have kirk at the u.s. trade rep, but are there enough minorities and should it matter to us? should we be discussing this? >> it shouldn't matter because diversity must be our promise and not our problem. and, you know, when you have first man of color in the white house, it becomes even more significant. but i believe the president truly believes in diversity and i think that, again, i think we'll see the diversity coming down the pipe. >> congressman elijah cummings, representative marsha blackburn, jeffrey zeleny and michael scherer, thank you for joining us. you can buy your mementos now. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
finally today on the east side of capitol hill, rehearsals are under way for president obama's inauguration parade a week from tomorrow. close to the white house, the party has already begun. ♪ >> thousands and thousands of americans will make their way into d.c. over the next couple of weeks. >> with